How to reconnect iMessage if it’s not working on your Apple Mac

This post tackles an issue affecting iMessage on a Mac computer after installing macOS Mojave update. If you’ve landed into this page while searching for possible solutions to the same problem on your Mac computer, then this post is for you. Highlighted below are suggested tweaks and possible solutions to post-update problems with iMessage. Read further more information.

Late last month, Apple rolled out the latest macOS Mojave version — the macOS Mojave 10.14.4. This was the fourth update to the macOS Mojave operating system, which as first launched September of last year. All Mac users who have a computer that that supports the said operating system are eligible for this software patch. Contained in this update were enhancements to Safari, Apple News, iTunes, Airpods and other Mac features. It also rendered as software patches or codes that are programmed to fix existing Mac issues including Wi-Fi connection problems, disappearing Exchange accounts, as well as frequent requests of AOL user passwords in Mail. Overall, it was intended to bring in positive results. But just like any prior system updates, this one also has its own share of bugs and therefore inflicted troubles to some Mac users. Among the emerging concerns include a problem with iMessage, in which users cannot send or receive messages using the service. If you ended up facing the same issue after installing the latest macOS Mojave version on your Mac, then you can use the following methods to troubleshoot and fix the problem on your end.

Before troubleshooting, check and ensure that the date and time settings on your Mac are set correctly. Some iMessage errors are due to incorrect date and time settings. To verify these settings, click the Apple menu then go to System Preferences-> Date & Time section. Select the Time Zone tab and check the option to Set date and time automatically. If it’s already checked, click the box to uncheck it, wait for a few seconds and check the box again.

If there’s no problem with the date and time settings but you still cannot connect to iMessage on your Mac, then you may proceed and troubleshoot your device.

First solution: Sign out of iMessage then sign in again.

Some apps and services may become rogue or unstable following an update installation. This is normal as some apps aren’t able to automatically adapt with the recent platform transition unless the device is restarted. And the iMessage is not exception. Should this be just a minor post update glitch affecting iMessage on your Mac, then signing out and back in will likely solve the problem. So here’s what you can try doing first:

  1. Open the Messages app on your Mac.
  2. Go to Preferences.
  3. Select your iMessage account.
  4. Click the option to Sign Out.
  5. After a few seconds, head back to the iMessage preferences menu in Messages then select the option to Sign in. You will need to enter your Apple ID and password then click Next to sign into iMessage.

Follow the rest of the onscreen commands to complete the process. Once signed in, create a test message to send as iMessage on your Mac and see if it works.

Second solution: Quit Messages then restart it.

If you were able to send and receive messages including iMessages on your Mac until you installed the latest macOS Mojave update, chances are that the new Messages app is experiencing adverse post-update symptoms probably due to some minor bugs. For apps that have gone rogue from an update, performing a quick restart is usually needed. To correct such app errors, you can try force quitting and then open the app again. Here’s how it’s done:

  1. Click the Apple menu.
  2. Select Force Quit.
  3. Then select Messages.
  4. Click Force Quit to end the app.

After a few seconds, open Messages app again then see if it’s already working as intended. If it still failed, proceed to the next solution.

Third solution: Reboot your Mac computer.

Software-related issues, including minor symptoms attributed to macOS bugs are often dealt with by a system restart. And that’s the main reason why it is but highly recommended to reboot your computer after installing new apps and firmware updates. Restarting can also help optimize the internal memory and free up some storage space. Minor symptoms from random app glitches and system errors are likewise cleared out. So if you haven’t already, you should consider this as the next possible solution to try on. There are three ways for you to reboot your Mac computer on macOS Mojave. Just pick your preferred method:

  1. Press the Power button or press Control + Eject keys on the keyboard when prompted with a dialog box. Then click the Restart button to instigate system restart.
  2. Click the Apple menu, then select the Restart command.
  3. Press Control + Command + Eject or Control + Command + Power button on the keyboard.

Hint: The most reliable way to restart a Mac is the third method, which is carried out by pressing the Control + Command + Eject/Power button. The reason for this is because it does not rely on the Mac OS X operating system.

You can also use the Shutdown command from the Apple menu, if you wish to let your computer rest for a while and then power it back on later.

This should allow your apps and computer system to start up fresh.

If restarting the computer doesn’t do any good, then you need to consider trying other options and applicable solutions.

Fourth solution: Manage iMessage settings on your Mac.

This is just another simple trick that has helped many people who have dealt with random problems when using iMessage on Mac. If you wish to take a chance in this method, then you may do so with these steps:

  1. Open Messages app on your Mac.
  2. Navigate to the menu bar then click Messages.
  3. Then, click Preferences.
  4. Click on Accounts.
  5. Then click the checkbox next to Enable Messages in iCloud.

This will allow your messages on your Mac to sync with your iCloud account. Messages in iCloud are automatically updated, hence you can always have the same view everywhere you use iMessage on your Mac.

Other options to manage in iMessage preferences:

  • If Messages is already turned on in iCloud but doesn’t work as intended, try to turn it OFF for a few seconds and then turn it ON again. This works like a quick restart to Messages functions including iMessage.
  • Also consider enabling the Sync Now option so that all your messages appear on all your devices automatically.
  • Another thing that you need to check is the email address or phone numbers indicated in the “You can be reached for messages at” section. Make sure that the assigned email address or phone number is correct. Otherwise, change it and add your email address or phone number in Messages.
  • Also review the email addresses and phone numbers showing in the blocked list. Messages from these contacts are blocked.

Try to create a test message to send and receive as iMessage on your Mac after making necessary changes and see if the problem is solved. If it’s not, then you should troubleshoot further.

Fifth solution: Disable Do Not Disturb on your Mac.

This method is only applicable if the problem you’re facing is on iMessage alerts or message notifications. If you’re not getting notifications for every iMessage received on your Mac, then it’s possible that your computer is set to mute or disable notifications including message alerts. To rule this out, check your settings and make sure that Do Not Disturb is disabled or turned off. Here’s how to access and manage this setting on your Mac:

  1. Click the Notification Center icon in the upper-right side of the Menu bar. Or you can just swipe to the left with two fingers from the right corner of your Mac’s trackpad.
  2. Next, scroll to the top of the Notification Center.
  3. Click the Do Not Disturb switch to the OFF position, if necessary. Otherwise, toggle the switch to turn the feature ON for a few seconds and toggle the switch again to turn it OFF again.

Hint: If you want to use the shortcut method, simply hold down the Option key on your keyboard and then click on the Notification Center icon to turn Do Not Disturb ON or OFF.

When enabled, Do Not Disturb will hinder all notifications and alert sounds from your computer. As a result, you won’t be able to hear alert sounds for incoming calls, app notifications and message alerts.

Also check and ensure that notification alerts on your Mac are not set to None. To check on this setting, follow these steps:

  1. Click the Apple menu.
  2. Go to System Preferences.
  3. Click Notifications.
  4. Navigate to the Notification preferences section.
  5. Select the Messages app on the left then choose any from the app alert style on the right except for None.

If the selected alert style for your Messages app is set to None, you won’t be able to receive or hear any notifications for the Messages app.

Sixth solution: Refresh and restart wireless services on your Mac.

Ruling out network-related issues is also recommended. Note that iMessage requires a stable Internet connection, preferably through Wi-Fi, in order to work properly. If your computer is experiencing Internet problems like intermittent connection or slow browsing, then it’s likely the root cause of the problem. The easiest solution to minor network errors on your Mac is to refresh wireless services. In this case, you can try to forget your Wi-Fi network from your computer and then set it up again. By doing so, you can connect your Mac to a fresh and error-free Wi-Fi network as if it’s the first time it does. Here’s how to forget a wireless network on macOS Mojave computers:

  1. Open System Preferences.
  2. Click Network.
  3. Select Advanced.
  4. Click your Wi-Fi network from the list then click the minus (-) icon below the list to forget or remove the network from your computer system.

If you see any other networks in the list and you’d want to forget them all, then simply press the Cmd + A keys on the keyboard, to select all networks then click the minus (-) icon. You can also set a network priority by dragging the most important network to the top of the list. This can be considered an option if you are using more than one networks for your computer’s internet connection.

After removing all wireless networks, reboot your Mac then head back to network system preferences to set up your Wi-Fi network and reconnect your computer to the Internet using it.

Still couldn’t reconnect to or get iMessage to work properly on your Mac?

If the problem continues after performing all the above procedures, then you should consider escalating it to Apple Mac Support. Doing so will let them notified about the problem, make further assessments on their end, and if needed, develop the required fix patch. The symptoms you’re experiencing could be due to very complex update error that can only be corrected by a performing more advanced solutions or by implementing a dedicated patch code. Just tell them exactly of what happened, the symptoms you’re dealing with, and the methods you’ve already tried on your end. If you’re getting error messages or warnings, be sure to relay the exact message to the support team so they can look into it as well. Error prompts and alert messages are often used as clues in determine what went wrong and what needs to be done to correct the problem and get rid of the symptoms.

I hope that we’ve been able to help you fix the problem with your device. We would appreciate it if you helped us spread the word so please share this post if you found it helpful. Thank you so much for reading!